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tv   Andrea Mitchell Reports  MSNBC  May 9, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT

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and i think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on american soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined. >> kill or capture? this hour, breaking news. we have the new results on our new nbc news poll. and as intelligence agencies plow through bin laden's hard drives and videos, the u.s. wants to talk to his three wives. plus, mississippi rising. emergency teams are going door to door near memphis, telling residents to get out while they can. >> it's devastating. i cannot believe that this happened. like, i cannot believe that there is this much rain. >> good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. pakistan says don't blame us. in the government's first official statement today, the prime minister tells his country, "it is disingenuous for anyone to blame pakistan for being in cahoots with al qaeda".
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that's a quote. the prime minister warned that pakistan reserves the right to retaliate against any future u.s. strikes with full force. nbc news chief pentagon correspondent jim miklaszewski joins us. you've been working all week, around the clock, since this all happened. i know you've been looking through the documents, talking to officials on the record, on background. the u.s. is pressing for access to bin laden's three wives. how important is that and what are the hopes that they can get something -- get real information from these detainees? >> certainly u.s. officials would like to sit down with the three wives and talk to them and get the kind of intimate detail that only they would have. not just about his personal life, obviously, but about who he was talking to, and what were the movements, who saw him and how did they communicate. they would have that kind of information, but more importantly, it may be a first step to sort of repair the tense relationship that now exists
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between the two over the fact that osama bin laden was in that compound for at least five years. yet somehow mysteriously nobody in the pakistani government, military or intelligence services, knew anything about it. i can tell you that as of today, u.s. officials tell us that there is still no hard evidence that anybody in the government, military or intelligence services, had direct knowledge that osama bin laden was there. however, we know what kind of murky relationships exist between their own services and there is still some -- some people are convinced that somebody in the government or military intelligence had to know, but that doesn't mean that it worked its way up the chain. and both sides, i can tell you, certainly military to military, are interested in not destroying that relationship for the sake of ongoing relations against al qaeda, in pakistan, and, of course, the war in afghanistan. >> but, mick, isn't this an
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opportunity also to say to pakistan, which has been embarrassed, the ambassador said this is embarrassing, humiliating for them. isn't this a chance for them to use this pressure now to say, you've got to cooperate on a higher level and more intensively throughout the bureaucracy? >> we can certainly try. but what we're hearing primarily according to u.s. officials now from the pakistani leadership is for pretty much for domestic consumption. this whole affair has been a huge embarrassment to the pakistani leadership and particularly the military because, you know, it is a lose-lose. either they knew which could really cause big trouble for the u.s. and pakistani relationship, or they didn't know, which is a huge embarrassment for them, amongst their own people. >> jim miklaszewski on the beat at the pentagon. thank you so much, mik. president obama is demanding that pakistan account for all bin laden could have been living
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in an islamabad suburb for five years, right up the road from pakistan's military academy. today's speech from pakistan's prime minister suggests they're not about to cooperate. peter alexander is in islamabad with more. let's talk a bit about prime minister jilani. mik suggesting part of this was -- a lot of this was for domestic consumptioconsumption. >> we are determined to get to the bottom of how, when, and why about osama bin laden's presence in abbottabad, an investigation has been ordered. people are rightly incensed on the issue of violation of sovereignty by the ground assault on the osama hideouts in abbottabad. >> what are people saying there? is there still a denial that most people whom you speak to do not believe he was either
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captured there or there was any complicity? >> reporter: i think there is certainly a difference between what the average pakistani people say -- whom we visited again today. in many cases this he do not believe the u.s. version of events. they're doubtful osama bin laden could have lived here for all that time. many of them doubtful that he died here and was killed in that raid last week. this conversation -- was made in english for the most part, clearly with the intent to be heard by an international audience because at one point the prime minister of this country then switched back into the local language, directed for the local community here. he did make a -- intelligence failure, he said the blame should be shifted -- the pakistanis have helped the u.s. throughout with more than 200 al qaeda leaders. they have helped turn in including the 9/11 mastermind,
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khalid sheikh mohammed. >> peter alexander, thank you very much. david sang certificate chief washingt washington correspondent for "the new york times." let's talk about what they're getting from pakistan. here's what the president said to "60 minutes" about whether or not people in pakistan's government, at some level, had to know. >> we think that there had to be some sort of support network for bin laden inside of pakistan. but we don't know who or what that support network was. we don't know whether there might have been some people inside of government, people outside of government, and that's something that we have to investigate and more importantly the pakistani government has to investigate. >> now this is not going to surprise you, david. jay carney is telling the briefing now that we want to have a cooperative relationship with pakistan. that's pretty self-evident.
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why it is so important to have a good relationship with pakistan despite what could create a breach here. david? >> the difficulty in separating out from the pakistanis as you heard from both the president and from his national security adviser, tom donelilan, open severon several of the shows on sunday, it provides a lot of counterterrorism assistance, some of which works better than others. and, of course, the big looming issue, which is that they have an arsenal of roughly 100 nuclear weapons and, of course, there is a great u.s. interest in making sure that none of those fall into the wrong hands, averted to terrorists and there has been a fairly large covert program over a number of years by the u.s. to help the pakistanis security those weapons. but if you dug into prime minister jilani's speech today, i thought one of the most
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interesting things he said was pakistan was ready to are repel any attack on those strategic assets, not from terrorists, but from the united states. and clearly that's their biggest worry. >> here is a bit of what tom donlan told david gregory on "meet the press," putting a lot of pressure on pakistan. >> they need to provide us with intelligence from the compound that they gathered including access to osama bin laden's three wives whom they have in custody. but it is important to underscore here we need to act in our national interests. we have had difficulties with pakistan, but we have had to work closely with pakistan. more terrorists and extremists have been captured to kill in pakistan than anywhere else in the world. it is a matter of operational security. >> it is very clear from what jilani said today they're not publicly giving anything up to
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us. >> well, that's right. there is a little bit of mutual hostage taking here because the united states has this trove of material that came out of the osama bin laden compound. and the pakistanis don't know what's on the thumb drives, what's on the hard drives. and whether or not they will reveal what the president called this network of support. on the other hand, the pakistanis have the wives who presumably know who came in and out of the compound, what kind of conversations were taking place, whether any of that support network involved members of the isi, the intelligence service or members of the government. and so both sides are trying to game out what the other side already knows. >> david sanger, one of the most complicated relationships and now even more complicated with this huge foreign policy success for the -- >> not getting any easier. >> not indeed. thank you. thank you very much, david. a new nbc news poll, brand-new, shows an overwhelming majority of americans support
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the decision to kill osama bin laden, rather than taking him alive. 80% believe that killing bin laden rather than capturing him was the right decision. only 11% say it was not. msnbc news pollster peter hart of hart research joins us. great to see you. thank you for coming here in person. these new numbers, 80%, that's about as big a level of support the president could have. >> without a doubt. he made a tough decision and a decision without any sense of how the american public was going to react. every group within the american public from the far right to the far left all say the president made the right decision. it is clearly in the american best interest and clearly served him well. >> the other piece of this poll that was also released is the fact that most americans, 72%, very large number of americans, believe that pakistan did know
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where he was held. >> well, the president may say that they're trying to work things out. the american public have figured things out and figured it out very completely. they don't think pakistan was unknowing in this operation. and the opinion about pakistan is overwhelmingly negative. you have two-thirds of the american public saying they have negative feelings about pakistan. so to the degree that pakistan is looking to get the support of the american public, they have a lot of work to do. not only with the obama administration, with the american public. >> and there is a lot of money at stake here because we're talking about billions of millions of dollars in aid. this is the kind of aid that was fought by people, such as senators kerry and luger, both parties, supporting this aid because this is a nuclear power. quickly developing and moving up in the hierarchy of nuclear estates and it really is all about pakistan. we talk about afghanistan, but really pakistan is the strategic
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issue here. >> well, that's very true and the problem here is how do you rebuild a relationship with the american public. because with all of the pressure on the deficit, it is going to be a very hard sell for an awful lot of people to be able to say senators luger and senators kerry we're going to be able to sell this to the american public. that's a hard sell at this staple. >> from your experience, we're seeing strong poll numbers supporting the president's very tough call here. because as mr. obama said, it was maybe 50/50 that osama bin laden was there. and we would be seeing a disastrous outcome. we both lived lou the carter desert one issue and saw the effect that had on his presidency, crippled his presidency, losing that hostage rescue operation. so they, i was told, really studied that hard. they went to the books on what happened with jimmy carter, militarily, and strategically and that's why the redundancies
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were built into the operation. but the same time, this -- what does this tell us about barack obama and does this translate into domestic policy in terms of support? >> i think what is fascinating, we'll have a full poll tonight coming out. >> that's my next comment. >> clearly, what it says is you can't necessarily just look at the overall totals. the question is what did they learn about the president's inner core, who he is and what he's about. and if that changes, then it becomes very important for the president doedoemestically. but we have to look tonight, not only at that, but the other thing we have to understand is, as important as this raid was, it still comes right back to domestic politics, how are you going to get the jobs and for the president, that has to be the number one priority. >> gas prices and unemployment. >> got them all. >> peter hart, thank you so
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much. the full poll at 6:30 on "nightly news" with chuck todd and then more tomorrow. up next, senator bob casey, what will congress do about aid to pakistan and the war in afghanistan? that's still ahead. seeking higher ground, memphis evacuates as the mississippi rises. with olay challenge that and give drastic measures a rest. regenerist night elixir gently resurfaces for the smooth skin of a light chemical peel. sleep tight. regenerist, from olay.
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you didn't tell anybody in the pakistani government or the military or their intelligence community. >> no. >> because you didn't trust them? >> as i said, i didn't tell most people here in the white house. i didn't tell my own family. it was that important for us to maintain operational security. >> but you were carrying out this operation in pakistan.
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>> yep. >> you didn't trust them. >> if i'm not revealing to some of my closest aides what we're doing, then i sure as heck am not going to be revealing it to folks i don't know. >> the white house is refusing to rule out future raids in pakistan despite fierce objections from that country's civilian and military leadership. most notably today, bob casey joins me now. thanks so much. prime minister gilani was tough saying they would fiercely oppose and take military action against any further military strike. what do we do in a situation like this with pakistan where if we see targetable intelligence, we'll go after them again? >> well, andrea i,, i think tha has to be the policy of the united states and it should be. i think this relationship has been difficult long before last weekend's new and thing my was
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ca mission was carried out. the pakistani government has to provide answers to what happened. they can't just assume that the world is going to forget that osama bin laden was living in pakistan for all these years, without us knowing about it. so this relationship has to be one based upon trust and accountability and that's been lacking lately. we're going to be asking them a lot of questions as we should because taxpayers have provided a lot of resources that have helped our government in the fight against terror. but also has helped the pakistani government as well. >> well, at this stage, if they will not give us access to the three wives, should we draw that as a line in the sand? if they will not give us the ability to question these women? >> i think the administration has to make a judgment about the impact if we don't have -- if we don't have access to those individuals. but i think in a broader sense, even if this question about
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access to witnesses in a sense wasn't an issue, this relationship has soured. it has gotten very difficult to build any kind of a trust relationship. so we have to work hard to put this relationship back together because you've got a nuclear armed country of about 180 million people, and that's one of the biggest security concerns that goes well beyond the borders of pakistan. so we have to ask questions. i'm going to be going there later, later this year in the summer, and i'm going to be asking questions on that visit that maybe weren't asked three or four years ago. i think we have to be very tough, just as i and others have asked tough questions of president karzai, when we have been with him. the same holds true of the pakistani leadership. we need accountability. we need our taxpayers to have a sense that we're getting our money's worth from this relationship, which is all about not just the security of the region, but our own security as
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well. >> should we rethink the age? should we put a hold on some of the $3 billion that is now projected for 2012? >> i think at a minimum we have to ask a lot of questions about that aid. and i'm not prepared to say we should condition it right now. we still have to get answers to questions. i think some in washington can fly off the handle. we have got to be very prudent about this and make a considered judgment after getting more information. some of those will come through the hearings that we're having now, chairman kerry is having hearings now in our foreign relations committee. some will come as well through the administration, through our intelligence resources. we have got to get answers before we make a broad determination of policy today. to do something right now, i think, would be premature. this is a critically important relationship for our own security and anyone who thinks they can fly off the handle and make a judgment about that today really does not know what they're talking about. >> senator bob casey, someone
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who does know what he's talking about. thank you very much. member of the foreign relations committee. thank you for being with us. >> thank you. up next, can house speaker boehner reassure wall street without losing the tea party? and she's back. >> it's just so great to be back on fox news, a network that both pays me and shows me the questions ahead of time. and i just hope that tonight the lame stream media won't twist my waters by repeating them verbat verbatim. i'm planning a trip to the middle east where i will be filming a cameo in hangover three, third hangover. the fellows go to a bar and i'm there. i also recently purchased rosetta stone english. i want to acknowledge that this week we finally vanquished one of the world's great villains, and i for one am thrilled to say good riddance to katie couric. oo so delicious. i think you'll find it's the vegetables. deliciously rich. flavorful!
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house speaker john boehner heads to new york today for a high profile appearance at the prestigious economic club of new york. he's going to have to persuade the financial community there that republicans aren't going to precipitate a market crash over the debt ceiling. the same time he has to reassure tea party activists that he isn't abandoning them on budget cuts and getting a warning already from democratic senator chuck schumer today saying he should not be cute about the debt ceiling, that markets will be hanging on every word. jeanne cummings is politico's assistant managing editor. you can't just fudge on what you're going to do about the debt ceiling and whether or not you're ready to go to the mat on it. >> absolutely. it will be fascinating, andrea, to see what message he does deliver there because his caucus is very divided. his freshmen are not convinced yet, some of them that if they
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default on the debt, that it will be a major problem. and that has got wall street sitting on the edge of his -- its seat. he has a very fine line he's got to walk here and the signals that he sends will be very important to how the debate proceeds here in washington. >> he doesn't want to negotiate in public. at the same time, he's got a whole -- save his cards for what happens with vice president biden and that group that are, you know, have been meeting at blair house and other places, trying to come up with an agreement. >> he definitely is going to have to keep some cards very close to the vest. i think boehner so far has done a pretty good job of moderating the messages that come out of his office, if not from his entire caucus. but i think that's why we see medicare suddenly getting back into this conversation. i think the republicans need the bargaining chips when they go in with the white house and so i think that's why medicare now is suddenly -- last week it seemed
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like they would give up on it. now it is back on the table. that looks to me like a big bargaining chip. >> they say it is back on the table, but judging from what they heard during the recess, may not really be back on the table. what is the political upside with the optics of eric cantor, the number two on the republican side, ringing the bell on wall street. is that a great picture for them? >> well, it certainly wouldn't have been for a democrat given the attitude of liberals towards wall street banks. i'm not sure it is terrific for republicans either. the tea partiers were very suspicious of all big organizations and that includes the big banks. but they know how much money could come from wall street and go away from president obama and go to the republicans and let's just be honest about it, they want every penny they can get. >> okay, so it is worth whatever political downside. thanks so much, jeanne cummings and matt lauer will interview speaker boehner tomorrow on
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"today." up next, we're live in memphis where residents are racing to outrun the rising mississippi. new raids today in syria, reports that security forces are now using soccer stadiums as makeshift prisons. send me your thoughts, find me on twitter @mitchellreports. here's the truth. at allstate, safe drivers can save forty-five percent or more on car insurance. protect your home with allstate, too, and you can save an extra ten percent. dollar for dollar, nobody protects you like allstate.
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precise. ever wish vegetables didn't taste so vegetably? well, v8 v-fusion juice gives you a full serving of vegetables, plus a full serving of fruit. but it just tastes like fruit. v8. what's your number? thousands have now evacuated their homes as memphis braces for record flood levels from the mighty mississippi today. nbc's jay gray is in the memphis floodwaters and joins us now. jay, is there any hope? i know the river is expected to crest as high as 48 feet. so far, how are the levees holding, the sandbagging and all? >> reporter: they're holding well, andrea. good to talk to you. conditions here not that good. look at the mississippi. it expanded so wide here. water in places, it is not supposed to be. you see the barge fighting against the floodwaters heading upstream. they had closed the river to
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large traffic earlier, really last week, but reopened it. you see the barge there. as you move across and down the river and into the city of memphis, we can tell you that floodwaters are beginning to move into areas in the city in the downtown area. streets are closing. that's becoming a big concern. there is also a huge concern about the water pouring out of tributaries to this river and into neighborhoods, washing them away. that's been a problem. as you come back across, you can see what's left of this park. most of it is swallowed by the river. there was supposed to be this weekend a huge barbecue cook-off here. obviously that's not going to happen. like so much and so many here, that cook-off has been moved to higher ground. we're expecting the crest at about 48 feet sometime this evening. understand, though, that's not the end of the problems here. the water is going to take as long to recede as it did to rise here. they're going to be dealing with water and issues like that for several weeks. another problem, the forecast.
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it is calling for rain later this week, something they don't need. >> jay gray, it is just appalling there. i know the people there have been suffering and we wish all of them well. thank you so much, jay gray, in memphis. in syria today, snipers are reportedly opening fire from rooftops in the country's third largest city as military tanks crush revolts from the mediterranean sea. the outskirts of the capital. witnesses say that armed forces are going door to door, rounding up hundreds of protesters. president bashir al assad appears to be tightening his grip over the country despite weeks of demonstrations and u.s.-backed sanctions. thousands of people are trying to flee the bloodshed in libya, many by setting sail in homemade rafts. a ship caring up to 600 migrants sunk off the coast. the number of victims is unclear. richard engel joins us live now from benghazi. first on libya, where you are now, what is the latest situation in terms of gadhafi
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and his ability to hang on? >> reporter: gadhafi is hanging on. and he seems to have been given a breath of life by the distraction of the killing of osama bin laden. there hasn't been as much attention focused on gadhafi. the nato air campaign is continuing. but there is not the same sort of world focus on this right now and that, believe it or not, has given him quite a bit of an edge as world leaders and their parliaments aren't pressuring nato to do more. >> and, richard, syria, talk about things that have continued without a whole lot of world pressure. they can talk about economic sanctions this he can issue statements as hillary clinton did on saturday, a written statement, but assad is getting away with it getting away with murder, some would say. >> reporter: he absolutely is getting away with murder, with mass arrests, with a crackdown. somebody has decided, many countries included, to give him a pass. this crackdown has taken -- has been going on for two months
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now. and according to human rights groups, at least 600 people have been killed, about 7,000 people arrested and unlike in egypt or in tunisia, even bahrain to a agree, though many would argue that the international community, the u.s. and the gulf in particular gave bahrain a pass, very few countries are saying anything about syria's crackdown. it is just seen as too important and there is a concern that if syria were to fall, the entire region could shift in very unpredictable ways. what is happening right now in syria, according to witnesses, is an arrest campaign. and today in particular, dozens have been arrested, in the city. and the syrian government is blaming this unrest on terrorists. it is telling people that those who have been detained, particularly men who are over 40 years old, will be release d,
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but -- >> richard engel reporting from benghazi on the latest in syria, which has been appalling. with bin laden gone, can al qaeda's splinter groups now launch attacks against the united states? roger cressey is an nbc news terrorism expert. i am told that after initially being so concerned about what would happen post assad, that both the u.s., israel and other leaders, perhaps everyone except the saudis, are now open to the possibility of putting more pressure on assad and actually looking towards a post assad regime. that isn't clear yet, though, from the policies. >> no. i don't think you're going to see the united states, andrea, playing a leading role in pushing there. what we're going to do is take our cue from the arab league, the saudis and others for two reasons. one, our leverage with syria is quite low. and second, the israel component to this equation is very important to us. so what we do is going to be viewed through that prism as
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well. >> and israel's prime minister coming here for an extended visit coming here this week and we'll see the president on friday, see president obama on friday. let's talk about the splinter groups of al qaeda, because al qaeda central is one thing. but the splinter groups are often talked about as even more dangerous. what we see in yemen, what we see emerging in somalia. what would be your biggest concerns if you're still in the national security council warning against threats to the homeland? >> what is encouraging is that no one has talked about the threat is over since bin laden has been killed because they realize that the franchises, such as al qaeda in the arabian peninsula and yemen, al shabab and i can go on and on, all still pose threats, different types of threats, but in terms of the u.s. homeland and our interests, it is the affiliate in yemen is the one that keeps people up at night. they're the ones who almost attacked us successfully twice in the past 18 months, they're the franchise that continues to come after us. bin laden is dead.
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we celebrate that. we look to the franchise and keep up the pressure on them. >> and pakistan has also been the source of threats against our homeland. even in these year when we thought that bin laden was more out of commission. i want to ask you about that, by the way. how good is the analysis so far of the intelligence that he was operational? it is not clear to me from the video that they released on stay that this means that he was really in an operational role. >> they haven't released anything yet, andrea, that confirms that operational role. what they're doing is still culling through the information and lashing it up with information they have in their databases to see where there is that operational component. there is no doubt they believe that bin laden was communicating with people at a broader group than they thought before, that he was more involved in the planning stages. targets, the type of operatives who should be involved, things like that. he didn't have tact criminal control go-no go decision
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making. that speaks to the challenge of where he was located and to our success in pounding them relentlessly. >> when you see notebooks that suggest attack on the rail, is this from an elderly isolated leader trying to relive his years of, you know, importance in al qaeda or is this really a signal to the rank and file? >> so there was nothing that surprised us by learning that he was interested in attacking rail. we have known that for some time. what was interesting is his specific interests in certain hubs and how he wanted to go about it. >> and how recent it is. >> and how recent it is. there is something aspirational about what we have heard about bin laden's capability. i believe there say lot more in the information about his operational command and control, that the government is going to release once they have sanitized it to ensure there is no current threat information that would be released if they provide it to us. >> as someone, like myself, who followed bin laden for so many years, i remember writing the first stories for us in 1997,
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what was most shocking or surprising to you in seeing the video on saturday. >> it was very personal to see him like that, to see how much he had aged, to see him hunched over, surfing through the cable channels. we have all had this image of bin laden, part of which he's tried to perpetuate and al qaeda has perpetuated and what we saw was something totally different. that's one reason why the government released this, to counter the narrative of bin laden as this charismatic figure. what we saw was something completely different. >> thanks so much. roger cressey, a long road. >> it has indeed. up next, the bin laden fallout with ryan lizza next. how can expedia save me even more on my hotel? by giving me huge discounts on rooms hotels can't always fill.
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hi, everyone. i'm tamron hall. coming up on "newsnation," a medical first in this country. doctors perform the first full space transplant on a 25-year-old man whose face was destroyed in a power line accident. i'll talk to one of the surgeons who performed that 15-hour surgery. plus, does the punishment fit the crime? a man is sentenced to life in prison on a marijuana conviction. it is his fourth conviction on marijuana charges, but is life in prison justified? "newsnation" is 15 minutes away. so how will bin laden's death now change the foreign policy of the united states? the new yorker's ryan lizza joins us now. let's talk, first of all, about the extraordinary success of this operation. this was president obama being asked about it on "60 minutes". >> what i tried to do is make sure that every time i sit down in the situation room, every one of my advisers around there
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knows i expect them to give me their best assessments. and so the fact that there were some who voiced doubts about this approach was invaluable because it meant the plan was sharper, it meant that we had thought through all of our options, it meant that when i finally did make the decision, i was making it based on the very best information. it wasn't as if any of the folks who were voicing doubts were voicing something that i wasn't already running through in my own head. >> it was not self-evident this was going to work or that he was even there. gutsy call. what about the way the foreign policy team worked and the way the president absorbed their advice and went off and made his own decision? >> this, i think every major decision he's made he's had divided council. >> afghanistan. >> afghanistan. if you read bob woodward's excellent detailed accounts, his team, his national security team was divided on the surge. if you look at the decision to break with mubarak, there was --
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there were competing voices on that decision. if you look at the decision to intervene in libya, publicly, i mean, almost publicly, bob gates and hillary clinton were on opposite sides of that debate, very strongly pressing different sides of that. that's what it means to be president for, you know, obama, he once said that if a decision gets to his desk, by definition it is a difficult decision because all the easy decisions are made by staff and the interagency process way before it gets to the president's desk. that's what we pay this guy for. >> two weeks ago in your piece for "the new yorker," you suggested a bumper sticker for the obama doctrine might be leading from behind, or some were saying that. >> yeah. >> what have we learned since this operation that might make you revise that? >> just to be clear, there has been a lot of political -- people have taken that line and used it for reasons i didn't write. the line, which was said by an
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obama adviser, was describing how he approached the libya decision. in other words, making sure that owe ba it didn't have the big u.s. stamp on it. getting a world consensus before you went ahead. that helped him get the resolution and indeed expand the resolutionhat the united nations. so that's what that -- >> it is situational. that phrase was applied to the libya situation, but obviously this is completely different. >> this is completely different. look, this is totally different situation. libya was a choice. it was a humanitarian and narrow humanitarian intervention where we had very few national security interests. killing bin laden is the top national security priority for the president. you don't wait for anyone. you don't have to tell anyone. you just do it. and this, of course, is the problem with doctrines. this is one of the reasons the president has been reluctant to
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declare this is my doctrine for the use of military force and it will apply to all cases. as president, you want to be able to be inconsistent, you want to be able to have different leadership styles and build different coalitions for different kinds of actions. >> isn't it easier to justify i have this policy for bin laden and i went after him and told leon panetta we want to get him, compared to libya, but how do you compare libya and syria? you can say we made a humanitarian decision to save benghazi and he was through the saying i'm going to do this and be brutal and go door to door, he gave us the predicate to go after him or say he should be gotten rid of. >> that's a much more analogous situation. >> in syria, he's not saying he's going to do it but assad is doing more than gadhafi had threatened to do. >> i think the question on benghazi was you you had a very clear case. we had an army marching on a city. you had a clear, you know, line
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so you could actually militarily do something to protect the civilians in that city. syria is a very different, messy situation. you have civilians and security forces mixed in urban environments. >> and no clear opposition. >> no clear identifiable opposition. so i haven't seen anyone come up with a clear military option for how you could protect the civilians and the protesters in syria. so, you know, these cases in a sense they have to be judged case by case. >> ryan, this is why we read "the new yorker." whether is no such thing as a doctrine, it's a much more complicated issue. >> yeah. >> thank you very much. >> what political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? and he's in. nbc news confirms newt gingrich will announce his presidential bid this thursday. this sunday gingrich will join "meet the press" for an
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exclusive interview with david gregory. that's this sunday. [ female announcer ] experience dual-action power, with listerine® whitening plus restoring rinse. it's the only listerine® that gets teeth two shades whiter and makes tooth enamel two times stronger. get dual-action listerine® whitening rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth.
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so which political story will be making headlines in the next 24 hours? msnbc contributor and managing editor of postpolitics.com chris cillizza joins us now. the president has got a speech, he's going to texas, immigration. is he going to have a policy or will it be more aspirational? >> i i think more aspirational, andrea. look, we know the fact is that hispanic votes are very, very important in the 2012 election. president obama won it largely in 2008, but they think they can win it bigger in 2012. i don't think this is going to be a detailed policy proposal because the president, he may be an idealist but he knows immigration reform isn't going through congress before november 2012. >> despite pressure from the hispanic caucus, mike bloomberg and other wos have met with him recently. we know from jay carney that the president will be meeting with the democratic caucus, senate
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caucus, and republican caucus. he's getting deeply right into the budget deal. >> you know, andrea, a few weeks ago i was talking to a couple senators, two of the gang of six, that group trying to negotiate on debt and spending and long-term fiscal policy. i said do you need the president to be more engaged, they demurred a bit but it's clear you 23450need the president to involved. >> chris cillizza, busy time. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> and that does it for us for this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." my colleague, tamron hall has a look at what's next on "news nation." hi, tamron. >> hi there. thank you. in our next hour we're following breaking weather news. people in the south are bracing for what could be the worst flooding since the 1920s. the mississippi river is rising toward its highest level ever in mississippi. thousands of people are being told to evacuate.
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we have live reports for you. plus, what pakistan says will happen if the united states ever launches another unilateral strike inside that country. very strong words today. "news nation" is minutes away. [ male announcer ] this is lara. her morning begins with arthritis pain. that's a coffee and two pills. the afternoon tour begins with more pain and more pills. the evening guests arrive. back to sore knees. back to more pills. the day is done but hang on... her doctor recommended aleve. just 2 pills can keep arthritis pain away all day with fewer pills than tylenol. this is lara who chose 2 aleve and fewer pills for a day free of pain. and get the all day pain relief of aleve in liquid gels.
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good day, everyone. i'm tamron hall. the "news nation" is following breaking news. a large part of the south is bracing for record floodwaters as the mississippi river rises. state of emergency has been declared in tennessee, mississippi, and louisiana. the army corps of engineers in louisiana opened a spillway near new orleans to relieve pressure upstream. jackson, mississippi, is expecting its worst flooding since 1927. and in memphis, tennessee, the river is expected to crest in just hours. the river there is normally half a mile wide. it has grown to three miles between banks and more than 1,000 residents have been told to evacuate and are filling relief shelters. >> all o

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